Cheng Lian

Elements to Paint a Live Portrait

July 12 – 14, 2017

BDAC members $385 + $25 model fee*
Non-members $400 + $25 model fee*

*materials not included

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Space is limited so please register early!

This workshop is for oil painters of all levels and skills. Workshop classes will involve three days of working with a live model, two sessions daily. The focus of this workshop is to define and organize the essential structure of a clarified visual approach when painting a portrait. Students will explore abstract value patterns, visual concepts, elements – point, line, aspect, color, form and edges with feeling and rhythm while developing their aesthetic sensibilities. Students will also learn to create portrait paintings through the fusion of real life and picture subject matter. Emphasis will be placed on helping artists cultivate and improve their own style rather than imposing one upon them. Workshop activities will include painting demonstrations, individualized instruction, and visual presentations intended to renew and expand each student’s visual vocabulary and understanding.

Cheng Lian was born in 1955 Shanghai, China, and graduated from China Academy of Fine Art (known as Zhejiang Academy of Fine Art). 1989 he moved to United States of America and now he and his family reside in Texas, UAS.  He is a Master Signature Artist and board member of National Oil and Acrylic Painters’ Society, Signature Artist of Oil Painters of America, Signature Envoy of California Plein Air Painters.

As an artist Cheng has traveled to many places in China, Asia, United States, Europe and South America, visited lots of art museums and pay tribute to those art masters in different eras.  He also teaches art classes and workshops, and has been invited to demo for many art leagues.  His art paintings widely collected publicly and privately all over the world.


  • The Artist’s magazine Jun/Jul issue 2015
  • Featured on Fine Art Connoisseur June 2015 Online
  • Featured in The Woodlands Online – Worldwide acclaimed artist resides in The Woodlands, 2014
  • International 2013/2014 ARC Salon
  • The Art of Pastel in Shanghai 2013
  • American Art Collector (USA) 2009
  • A Retrospective Pastel in Shanghai Over Two Decades 2006
  • Art World News – cover (USA) 1998
  • Artists of Chinese Origin in North America Directory (USA) 1993 and 1995
  • Chinese Select Oil Painting Artists (Japan) 1989

Student Testimonials:

"I have a Fine Arts degree, but after more than 30 years of not painting or drawing my skills had diminished greatly.  I was very blessed to have found Cheng Lian, a wonderful Master artist to retrain and teach me again.  I was struggling to recover my skills, yet Cheng saw that there was talent within my work and would encourage me to continue.  Over the last several years his experienced teaching has helped me regain those artist skills.  At times he challenged me to see and do things differently, beyond my earlier formal education and it has matured my artistry."

"He has the ability to see each artist as an individual, and then formats his instruction based upon those individual’s strengths or weaknesses. During studio time, he may instruct us through a demonstration, or a small critique of someone’s work.  His style of teaching mirrors his work, honest, direct, detailed and sensitive.  Finally,  I would be remiss to not mention he has a wonderful gift of storytelling.  He keeps the class atmosphere light, even while we work, quietly watching us, then making suggestions, which may lead to a story."

"What a gift to the art community, the world, but even more to all who have had the pleasure of his accomplished instruction and mentoring. I am ever thankful for all he has shown me."

– Lisa M. Chopp


"Cheng Lian is a wonderful art instructor."

"I began studying portraiture with Cheng about 3 years ago. He helped me understand value, form, and color and the role they all play in creating a successful painting. Under Cheng’s direction he taught me how to improve my drawings and even gave anatomical explanations when necessary so I had a better understanding of how to paint/draw the human form."

"I would summarize Cheng’s teaching style as one of directness. He will tell you what is right about your painting and what is wrong but always provides feedback in a kind manner. Students are encouraged to ask questions during the critique to make sure they understand the concept he is discussing."

"Cheng is good natured, friendly and always welcoming. As I review my paintings over the past 3 years it is easy to see the improvement that Ive made. I owe so much of that improvement to Cheng."

"I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to study with Cheng Lian to do so. I expect you will be pleased."

– Elyse Taylor


"Cheng Lian is one of the best teachers I have ever had.  He can teach all range of artists from beginners to advanced.  He not only teaches the basics of painting but to go beyond that to their artistic abilities.  He is an excellent portraiture artist, landscape artist and still life artist.  He teaches drawing, color harmony, and composition.  His paintings tell a story and give you the feeling of being there with the model or the landscape he is painting."

"I would strongly recommend Cheng Lian.  He is an excellent teacher."

– Lynda Hughes